The 2021-22 federal budget will be delivered on Tuesday, May 11.
Treasury is obviously excited, literally counting down second-by-second at budget.gov.au until Treasurer Josh Frydenberg rises at 7.30pm that night to deliver all the details that haven't been leaked or dropped before then.
But there is always a much nicer, a much more pleasant way to realise a federal budget is just around the corner.
The famous Budget Tree - a red maple in the Senate courtyard - has year after year exploded into all its autumnal brilliance right on budget time.
The beautiful, reliable tree also provides a handy backdrop to budget dissections and TV crosses.
And, given the state of the coronavirus-battered budget this year, also provides a handy metaphor for Australia's finances likely being in the red. Deep red. No Back in Black coffee cups this year. (On that thought, why isn't there a Budget Tree coffee cup?)
The budget tree was looking pretty lonely last year when the budget was pushed back to October.
But it is even more magnificent this year - as is much of Canberra in this glorious autumn, its rich red leaves still against the clear, sunny sky. Is it because we had so much rain last year? Is it that we just appreciate the colours more this year, compared to last when we were deep in pandemic territory?
Needless to say, social media feeds at this time of year are full of #budgettree.
Especially love ABC federal reporter Matt Doran's tweet of the budget tree on Tuesday: "Pretty sure no one has thought to take a photo of this tree before".
Some Canberrans are even showing off trees in their own street or workplace which they reckon give the real budget tree a run for their money.
"APH eat your heart out!" tweeted one.
The only thing more budget-y will be those live crosses on budget night, reporter's rugged up in coats, their breath visible in the dark and then breakfast show hosts shivering on the front lawn of Parliament House the next morning. Happy budget, people.
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